Flood watch issued for Lake Erie shore

Strong waves in Lake Erie. (File photo courtesy of Cindy June via Facebook)

High waves and strong wind are causing concerns in Chatham-Kent.

The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) has issued a flood watch, saying strong winds and high waves in the forecast beginning Friday afternoon and lasting into Sunday could damage, erode, and cause flooding along the Lake Erie shoreline, especially Erie Shore Drive.

“Forecasts are suggesting waves on Lake Erie would exceed 1.5 metres in height in nearshore areas with waves up to three metres on the open lake,” said Jason Wintermute of the conservation authority in a news release.

Wintermute said the amount of flooding along Erie Shore Drive should increase the longer this event goes.

Environment Canada also has a freezing spray warning in effect.

He added the freezing temperatures mean that wave spray and floodwaters could freeze against structures and on the ground leading to treacherous walking and driving conditions.

“People should take extra caution and avoid the shoreline,” said Wintermute. “The waves can be strong and the shoreline slippery.”

He added there could also be hazardous debris within the waves and water that could be thrown onto the shore.